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28 Dec, 2016 22:23

Texas police officer shoots man in back – video

Texas police officer shoots man in back – video

Newly released dashcam footage shows a Fort Worth police officer shooting a man in the back as he walked away. The victim was left a paraplegic, and whether the shooting was justified is up for debate.

The footage shows the police vehicle driving into a parking lot. A man, David Collie, is seen in the car headlights slowing walking away.

The officer is then seen on the left pulling out a gun, and the woman on the right, a sheriff’s deputy, holds up a flashlight. The man is seen extending his left arm and the officer fires, shooting Collie in the back.

The police officers, an off-duty Fort Worth officer and an off-duty Tarrant County sheriff’s deputy, were responding to a report of an armed robbery at a gas station in the area on July 27, 2016.

They had been told a suspect in the robbery had pulled out a silver handgun and robbed someone they had met online and had agreed to meet to purchase items from them.

The suspects were described as two shirtless black men, and when the responding officers saw Collie without a shirt in an apartment complex, they believed he matched the description.

“Mr. Collie was no threat to this officer,” Collie’s attorney Nate Washington told reporters during a press conference on Tuesday to coincide with the release of the video, according to KXAS-TV.

Collie’s lawyer decided to release the video after another Fort Worth police officer was disciplined when a Facebook live video went viral. The video showed the white officer arresting a black mother, her daughter and bystander when the mother had called police for help after a white neighbor allegedly tried to choke her 7-year-old son over a littering incident.

"Unfortunately, what we've seen from the Fort Worth police officer in that video is not an isolated incident," said Washington, the attorney. "Many members of our community have been assaulted, handled roughly by Fort Worth police officers. To be clear, we believe the vast majority of police officers are good and decent people."

In the shooting incident, Washington said Collie didn’t match the description of the robbery suspect, and was trying to follow the officer’s instructions to raise his hands when he was shot.

“He tried to comply. He tried to do what they told him to do. And in doing that he was shot in the back and paralyzed,” said Washington.

Police are not commenting on the video, but officers said they saw a flash of silver in Collie’s hand and thought it was a gun. Police said the gun turned out to be a box cutter.

Collie was arrested for assaulting the officers and spent 61 days in the hospital chained to a bed.

A grand jury declined to indict him. Collie got the video from the District Attorney’s office after the city refused to turn over any records at all.

“The process they ask us to trust is essentially, ‘Let us do what we want to do, we will be not transparent at all and we will tell you what we concluded,’” Washington told reporters.

There is no word yet on whether Washington will file a lawsuit on behalf of his client.